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Solid-Slate Electronics. 1974. Vol. 17, pp. 1217-1227. Pergamon Pras.

Printed in Great Britain




Departments of Electrical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California. Los
Angeles, California 90007, U. S. A.

(Received 7 October 1973; in revised form 28 May 1974)

Abstract-Effects on van der Pauws resistivity and Hall coefficient measurement due to finite size
contacts with selected shapes on a square sample were investigated. For the sheet resistivity
measurement, correction factors for the apparent measured values at zero magnetic field were
determined from both electrolytic tank experiments and computerized over-relaxation calculations.
For the Hall coefficient, correction factors for the effect of voltage shorting due to current electrodes
and for the effect of current shorting due to Hall electrodes were calculated (by use of a
fast-convergent over-relaxation technique) through a range of Hall angle from tan fJ = 0.1-0.5. The
current shorting contribution to the correction factor at zero magnetic field was also closely estimated
by use of an electrolytic tank. In the symmetrical structures studied the Hall errors introduced by the
voltage and current electrodes were approximately equal. The study shows that contacts of
appreciable size relative to that of the sample can be a good approximation to van der Pauws
infinitesimal contact. Thus, one can utilize the simplicity and other advantages of finite size ohmic
contacts for these measurements in normal semiconductor materials evaulation and still obtain precise
data by using the appropriate correction factors determined in this paper.

1. INTRODUCTION special geometries such as the clover-shaped

A method of measuring resistivity and Hall sample are required to reduce the influence of finite
coefficient of planar material with an arbitrary contacts on these measurements. Within these
contour was first introduced by van der Pauw[l]. limitations, van der Pauws method still requires
This method enables one to measure these material elaborate sample preparation of fragile samples,
properties on a wafer sample without the classical particularly when the available sample size is small.
bar-or bridge-shaped geometry. However, van der From the point of view of semiconductor materials
Pauws derivation was based on infinitesimal ohmic evaluation, it is of interest to determine the effects
contacts to the sample, a condition which cannot be introduced due to the size and the shape of finite
satisfied in practice. Errors introduced by a single contacts for representative sample configurations
finite contact and three infinitesimal contacts were with reference to the ideal van der Pauw situation.
estimated by van der Pauw for a disc sample for This provides a practical method to measure
three cases. These were for a contact on the material resistivity and Hall coefficient with both
periphery, on the internal surface, and perpendicu- simplicity and accuracy. Several methods have
lar to the circumference but touching the edge of been derived to determine the various effects due to
the disc. Van der Pauw comments that analytical sample shapes and electrode sizes of a Hall probe
results for more than one finite contact are difficult or generator[2-121. Among these, Wick[2] first
to obtain. In general, it has been thought that used Schwartz-Christoffel transformations to solve
the field problem for a rectangular, circular or
*This research was supported by the Advanced octagonal Hall sample with finite electrodes on the
Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense perimeter. Subsequently, based on these conformal
under Grant No. DAHC 15-71-G-6 and by the Joint
transformation techniques, exact or approximate
Services Electronics Program through the Air Force
Office of Scientific Research/AFSC under Contract F- corrections for geometric linear and non-linear
44620-7 1-C-0067. effects were investigated for two-, three- and
tNSF Summer Science Training Student. four-terminal Hall probes and generators [3-S].


SSE Vol. 17. No. 12--A


These results cannot be used directly to give where Vnc. is the voltage measured between the
correction factors for continuously varying finite voltage contacts D and C when current I,,, is
contact sizes in a van der Pauw type measurement. passing through the current contacts A and B as
The conformal transformation approach generally shown in Fig. 1 and d is the thickness of the
involves complicated mathematics and difficult sample. By symmetry, EF is an equipotential line.
computations. Newsome[9] has shown an alterna- Hence, only half of the sample AEFD need be
tive method of solution for the field distribution considered in our problem. The correction factor
inside a Hall plate via a digital computer solution of required when finite contacts are used in such a
Laplaces equation in finite difference form. News- measurement was initially determined through a
ome used a five point relaxation scheme for his simple electrolytic tank experiment. The experi-
calculation. Griitzmann [lo] proposed a nine point ment was carried out in a rectangular tank (4 x 8 in.)
relaxation scheme to obtain improved accuracy with three sides insulated and the remaining side of
with little increase in computational complications. copper plate to simulate the equipotential line at
Mimizuka[ I I] invoked the basic symmetry in many EF. Etched copper electrodes of different size and
Hall plate configurations to reduce the computa- shape were immersed into the tank to represent the
tional difficulty. Recently, White et al. [12] have actual contacts during resistivity measurement. In
applied a matrix approach rather than a relaxation the light of practical applications and to facilitate a
approach to a 16 x 16 grid to determine the effects comparison with the computed solution, triangular
due to finite square-shaped interior electrodes on a and square contacts were selected for our investi-
square Hall plate. This method avoids the repetitive gation.
calculations of the relaxation method, but is limited I AB I AB
in the complexity of the problem that may be
approached. Clearly, as White et al. reported, the
effects introduced by finite size electrodes will
result in a larger deviation from the ideal van der
Pauw case when they are located in the interior
instead of on the periphery of the Hall sample. We
report here the effects of four identical finite size
contacts on the corners of a square sample.
Correction factors with respect to the correspond- I
ing ideal van der Pauw case were derived for
triangular and square shaped electrodes with
varying sizes. Our results are based on the solution
of field distributions via the finite difference
approach. Instead of solving a huge number of
simultaneous equations (cf. White[l2]), for a more
precise answer. we have used an iterative over- D F C
relaxation method to obtain the final solution. It is
Fig. 1. Schematic configurations for van der Puuw\
difficult to obtain precise experimental verification resistivity measurement. Current passes through contacts
on actual semiconductor samples. Accordingly A and B, and voltage is measured between contacts D
some experimental data were obtained through an and C.
electrolytic tank simulation for the resistivity
measurement and for a current correction factor in If we denote la as the current injected from the
the Hall measurement. electrode at A and flowing out through the
equipotential plate at EF and V, as the resulting
2. CORRECTION FACTOR FOR FINITE voltage measured between the electrode at D and
the equipotential plate, then the effect of finite
An electrolytic tank experiment contacts can be determined through the measured
From van der Pauws theorem [l], it can be change in the ratio VD/ZA for different pairs of
shown that for a flat homogeneous isotropic square electrodes.
sample, the resistivity p is given by: In our experiment, tap water was selected as the
electrolyte because it has a relatively small a.c.
polarization effect[l3] and the resulting resistance
permits the use of a standard a.c. digital voltmeter
Contact size effects on the van der Pauw method 1219

to measure Vo. An a.c. signal was applied between expect the resulting Vn to be smaller than that in
the electrode A and the plate EF. The optimal the ideal infinitesimal contact case. Thus, the
frequency which minimized both electrolysis correction factor for obtaining the resistivity from
effects and the reactive component due to capaci- the apparent resistivity is expected to be always
tance was found to be 2 kHz. The current IA was greater than 1. This correction factor is the ratio
measured by a high gain operational amplifier in the between V, measured with infinitesimal contacts
current detection mode. In each case (triangular or and with finite contacts when I, is the same.
square contacts) the largest set of electrodes was
used as the reference for all subsequent measure- 3. CALCULATIONS BASED ON A RESISTIVE
ments with smaller electrodes. The point contact NETWORK ANALOGUE

case was simulated by placing two No. 20 wires Generally, due to the a.c. polarization effect,
tightly against the insulated corners of the elec- misalignments and the meniscus problem, the
trolytic tank. Figure 2 shows two sets of data taken accuracy obtained in an electrolytic tank experi-
for the triangular contacts and one set for the ment has been reported to be about l-2 per
square contacts. The values of the ratio S/l (cf. Fig. cent[l3, 141. Because our resistivity corrections
2) were chosen to be l/32, l/16, 3/32, l/8, 3/16 and were rather small, e.g. for the triangular case less
l/4, again to permit an optimal comparison with the than 3 per cent it was felt desirable to determine
subsequently computed results. The effect of a these correction factors through a more accurate
finite size contact is to modify the current and method. One direct method is to solve the Laplace
potential distributions inside the sample and in equation with the given boundary condition
particular to reduce the effective spacing between through finite difference calculations on the compu-
voltage contacts. Thus, for fixed Ia, one would ter. One boundary condition at the voltage contacts
is to require that no net current is drawn by the
contacts. Although this condition can be incorpo-
rated into the interactive calculation, the accuracy
of the final results will be very sensitive to the
degree to which this condition is satisfied. How-
ever, using a resistive network analogue with the
aid of a simple equivalent circuit model, the above
difficulty can be avoided completely.
I Expenment
If one considers the flat sample as composed of
6 l.II-
elements modeled by a square mesh with each
individual resistor having the value 2R, then a
typical resistive network will be obtained as shown
in Fig. 3(a). All the interior resistors now become R
due to the parallel combination of neighboring
elements, but the resistors along the edge AF, BC
and DE still remain 2R. This simulates a sample in

All the elements along EF are shorted to represent

the equipotential line. The shorts along AB and CD
represent the current and voltage contacts respec-
0 0.05 o.08,10.5 0.20 0.25
tively. From the point of view of the contacts, the
entire mesh can be further modeled as three
Fig. 2. Correction factors for finite contact effect on resistors connecting the equipotential lines AB, CD
resistivity measurement shown as a function of S/f and EF as shown in the equivalent circuit diagram
(parameters defined by insert). Result from computer in Fig. 3(b).
calculations based on resistive network analogue is shown
by solid and dashed curves for square and triangular
Consider first the information which can be
contacts, respectively. W. A. A are the data obtained obtained if we know the elements in the equivalent
from the electrolytic tank experiment. circuit of Fig. 3(b). By symmetry, Rz is equal to R1.

based on its appropriate equation, and the new local

potential was accordingly adjusted by this residue
multiplied by an over-relaxation factor. For faster
convergence, we started the problem with a coarse
grid of 9 x 5 and when the maximum current
residue fell below a specified limit the linear grid
dimension was divided into two and the new nodes
introduced were initialized by linear interpolation
from the last solution of the previous grid. The
process continued until the final grid reached ;I
65 x 33 array and the maximum current residue at a
grid point wa\ less than one part in IO of the total
current. Since the optimal over-relaxation factor
depends on the number of nodes in the problem, a
different optimal over-relaxation factor was used
(0) (b)
for each successive grid size. After the residue had
Fig. 3. (a) Representative resistive network analogue for reached values below IO of the total current. the
resistivity measurement with triangular contacts. (b) over-relaxation factor was slightly reduced if an
Equivalent circuit diagram for the network shown in (a). oscilliation in the maximum residue value wa\
AB and CLJare the edges of the contacts, and EF is an
detected during successive interaction\. Using thih
equipotential line.
scheme. we found that the rate of convergence W;I\
Then. the ratio I,,,-/I,,, in equation (I) is simply much improved over one using a constant over-
given by: relaxation factor. The computed results are shown
in Fig. 2, where the solid line and the dotted line
-= 2 Rz represent the correction factor computed for the
1 \,I RI +?R; square contacts an d triangular contacts respec-
The factor 2 in the numerator accounts for the fact
that the entire sample resistance is twice that of the 4. DERIVATION OF THE CORRECTION FACTOR FOR
symmetry element we are considering. Since we FINlTE CONTACTS IN

know that for the ideal infinitesimal contact VAN DER PAUWS HALL .MEASUREMENT

Under the influence of a magnetic field I?, the

VU, R In2 current density and the electric field I? in a flat
I 1H ?? isotropic homogeneous semiconductor must satisfy
the following relation
the correction factor for finite contacts can then be
- _
determined. J=rrE+mR,,(J, -u B)
- (5)
The problem has thus become one of determining
R, and R?. If a voltage V ic applied at AB and the where (r and RH are the conductivity and Hall
equipotentials at EF and CD are grounded, then coefficient of the sample respectively. When the
the currents I, and I? flowing out from the ground at magnetic field fi is applied perpendicular to the
CD and EF can be found by solving for the voltage plane of the sample as shown in Fig. 4. equation (5)
at every node in the entire mesh. RI and R, are now can be rewritten in the following form
simply given by V/I, and V/I,, respectively. In this
manner, all the boundary potentials are fixed E, = p(J, -tan HJ,) (61
without any of the approximations which have to
be satisfied by repeated interaction where the E, =p(tan BJ, +J,) (7)
potential electrode must be floated. The voltage at
every node in the resistive mesh was solved on the where p is the resistivity and tan H = RHB/p is
computer by a standard successive over-relaxation defined as the Hall angle.
method [IS] using Kirchoffs current equation at The Hall voltage VH one would measure between
each node. This solution is equivalent to that of infinitesimal Hall electrodes A and C when current
Laplaces equation in finite difference form. The I,, is passing between infinitesimal driving elec-
current residue at each grid point was calculated trodes B and D in an ideal van der Pauw case
Contact size effects on the van der Pauw method 1221

The first term on the right hand side of equation (1 I)

IO represents a reduction in measured Hall voltage
due to the loss of a portion of the injected current
which now flows around the edges of the finite Hall
electrodes. The second term in equation (I I)
represents a bulk correction factor due to the
shorting effects or current re-distribution due to the
presence of finite current and voltage contacts.
Equation (I 1) thus provides US with a physical
interpretation of the error induced when the
electrodes in van der Pauw measurement are not
infinitesimally small.

Fig. 4. Schematic configuration for van der Pauws-Hall 5. A PRELIMINARY ESTIMATION OF THE ERROR DUE
measurement. Current is passing through contacts D and
B and voltage is measured between contacts A and C
with magnetic field B applied perpendicular to the plane Calculations of the exact error induced in the van
of the sample. der Pauw Hall measurement with finite contacts
will be discussed in the following sections. Since it
analogous to that shown in Fig. 4 is is most meaningful to compare the ideal van der
Pauw case with contacts which have relatively
v = Iop tan 0 small deviations, some initial analysis of the

d approximate error due to the different shape and
where d is the thickness and lo is the total current size of the contacts can be very informative. The
injected into the sample. If both magnetic field and error contributed by the second term on the right
current are maintained constant, the Hall voltage hand side of equation (11) is a function of Hall
one would measure with finite electrodes in the angle, and certainly, its magnitude depends on the
corresponding situation as shown in Fig. 4 will be size of the electrodes, yet any direct experimental
estimation of its magnitude does not appear to be
simple. However, the error contributed by the term
(IO- J,)/L in equation (I 1) can be estimated by a
P very simple calculation. The value of this term at
= p(tan0J,+J,)dy+ p(tan0J,+J,)dy zero magnetic field provides us with an upper bound
c for the error attributed to current following around
+ p p (tan 0 J, + J,) dy. (9) the Hall voltage contacts. At zero magnetic field, due
to the symmetry of the square sample, the potential
Since the resisitivity in the ohmic contact region is distribution in only one quarter of the sample is
nearly zero, the first and the third integral on the required to solve this problem. This was first
right hand side of equation (9) can be set equal to estimated by a simple electrolytic tank experiment.
zero. Hence. the apparent Hall voltage measured The tank was made proportional to the triangle AQD
with finite contacts is shown in Fig. 4.
An etched copper plate placed at OQ simulated
the equipotential line along AC. Other experimental
VL= p tan 0
I I)
J, dy fp J, dy procedures were similar to the resistivity
ment described previously.
In the present case, we
I,p tan 0
=d-p p J,dy. monitored the currents I, and L, through the
electrode A and the equipotential plate OQ,
Here I, is defined as the total current which passes respectively. To facilitate some comparison be-
through the semiconductor. tween different shapes of contacts, we again used
The resulting error factor thus can be deduced the square and triangular electrodes as examples.
from equations (8) and (10) as Figure 5 shows the experimental data taken for
both cases with varying size contacts.

d PJvdY
IOtan 0
In the absence of the magnetic field, the resitive
mesh model discussed previously is also applicable
for direct calculations. Figure 6(a) shows a rep-

resentative resistive network for such calculations,
No resistors are required along SQ because SQ is a
line of symmetry which runs diagonally across the
resistive mesh. The equivalent circuit is shown in
Fig. 6(b). Since EO and HQ are always at the same
potential, no current will flow through the resistor
Rx. If II is the current which crosses the plane hlQ
and I2 is the current which crosses the plane EO,
the desired error factor is simply Zz/(ZI + I,). The
solid and dotted lines in Fig. 5 indicate the
SOUARE computed results for the square and triangular
CONTACT contacts respectively. The results for finite Hall
angle will be discussed later. From Fig. 5, it is
evident that the error due to the current flowing
around a pair of square Hall electrodes is nearly
d,o twice as much as in the case of triangular
/ /,, I
electrodes. Therefore, from a practical point of
view, triangular shaped electrodes will be a closer
simulation of infinitesimal contacts in an ideal van
der Pauw measurement. In the next section, we

u<,_-, c.05 0.10
discuss the exact solution for the triangular contact



Fig. 5. Error contribution in Hall measurement due to the Method

current loss term (I,,- I,)/I,, as a function of S/l. From equations (6) and (7) and referring to Fig.
Estimation at zero magnetic field based on a resistive
7(a), the following set of finite difference equations
network calculation is shown by the solid and dashed
curves for square and triangular contacts respectively.
can be derived for the solution of the potential
n A are data obtained from the electrolytic tank distribution inside the sample [9].
experiment. Results of exact calculations at finite Hall On boundary (I), where J, = 0, we have
angles for triangular contacts are shown by the dotted
VI.,-,(I +tan 8)+ VI, ,(I -tan 0)
+ 2 v, ,-4v,, =o. (12)

On boundary (2), where J, = 0, we have

VI ,.,(I ftan 0)+ V, ,.,(l -tan 0)

+2V,2-4V,,,=O. (13)

Inside the sample where the Laplace equation

must be satisfied, we have

v,+,., + V, i., + VI.!*, + VU / -4 V,! =O. (14)

By symmetry (I I). we also have the condition

V,, I + v,,, i, I, ,I/ ,J ,I = VB - Vn (15)
(a) (b)

Fig. 6. (a) Representative resistive network analogue used where VB and V, are the potentials applied at the
for estimation of the current loss term (I,, - I,)/&, at zero current electrodes Z3 and D. By virtue of equation
magnetic field in a Hall measurement configuration with
(IS), we only have to solve the potential distribution
triangular contacts. (b) Equivalent circuit diagram for the
network shown in (a). EO and GS are the edges of the for half of the sample with the following additional
contact\ and UQ IS an equlpotenflal line. equation for points along the diagonal ST
Contact size effects on the van der Pauw method 1223

The field E, along a section GH of the Hall

electrode as shown in Fig. 7(b) can be approxi-
mated as the average of the y component of the
local fields at points G and H. When written in
finite difference form, this field is

(a) 4 1
VI_.,- VL.3+ VL -,.z - vL.+,,z+ VI. ~1. - V! I.4
2h 2h 2h
+ VI 2.7 - VI .i
2h I
= & [8 V,, - V, .3- 2 VI +I.?- 2 VI ).A- 2 vf .I]

=&[4 VH - VL+,.?- v, W-2 Vf.31 (18)

where VH is the potential of the Hall voltage

electrode. Here proper substitution via equation
(14) has been used to obtain equation (18). Thus, the
final form of equation (17) written in finite difference
form for a Hall electrode extending L even number
of sections across the grid is

4 L VH -(V,.+2.1 + VI.L+2)-3(VI.~I.Z+ Vx+,)

~4(VL~,,_k + v1,,,-,)=O. (19)

Equations (12-14), (16) and (19) constitute the

entire set of finite difference equations required to
solve the potential distribution inside a Hall sample
(cl with finite current and Hall contacts. In actual
computation, convergence to the final solution was
achieved by the successive over-relaxation method
described in the previous resistivity calculation.
Our initial grid size was chosen to be 33 x 33.
Depending on the size of the electrodes, a
maximum number of 561 points entered the
Fig. 7. (a) Grid configuration for finite difference calculation. An initial over-relaxation factor of 1.8
calculation of potential distribution in a square Hall
was found to be optimum in our calculations. Here,
sample with triangular contacts. (b) Grid divisions along
the triangular Hall electrode edge. (c) Additional grid again, after the total residue sum over all the points
relaxation near the Hall electrode to improve calculation had reached a value below IO- of the voltage
accuracy. applied between the current electrodes, the over-
relaxation factor was slightly reduced each time an
VI-,., + v ,,,-I + [v-e- vo - v-m-Ltn-cd oscillation in the value of the total residue sum was
+ [V, - vu - Vm-,l~,).m~,l - 4 VI.1 = 0. (16) detected in successive interactions. The final
solution has a total residue sum less than 10 of the
Along the potential electrode EF, since it is an applied voltage. Since the region near the Hall
equipotential line and no net current is drawn out electrode represents an area of high potential
through the Hall electrode, we require E, = 0 and gradient, and as noted before, the resulting Hall
JEJ, dx = 0. Then from equations (6) and (7), one voltage and potential distribution are highly sensi-
can deduce the condition that tive to the degree to which equation (19) is
satisfied, we further subdivided the grid around the

Ex dx = - (17)
corner of the Hall electrode
as shown in Fig. 7(c).
at the new grid points were first

initialized by linear interpolation based on the final I,,

uE, dy
solution obtained in the coarse grid. The calculation E
= VH~ VLU= _ I I
was then continued by interaction through all the V, Ia
dp tan 0
points both in the original and the subdivided
portions of the grid until a new solution was
reached with the total residue of the entire mesh This can be shown to be equivalent to equation (I I).
less than one part in 10 of the applied voltage at the since when U > 6 there is no current loss due to the
driving terminals. Allowing the whole sample presence of finite Hall contacts, and consequently
distribution to relax instead of the usual technique I, = Z,). Figure 8 shows a plot (for several Hall
of relaxing just the subdivided portion yields a angles) of the percentage error (EL or 6,) between
considerable increase in accuracy. the existing Hall voltage and the corresponding
ideal van der Pauw Vbr for each pair of grid points
along the top and right side edge of the sample. The
Results triangular contacts are spread over 6 grid sections
Since a meaningful correction factor must be as shown in the insert in Fig. 8. The flat portions of
based on a constant current injection condition, the the curves indicate the errors at the Hall electrode.
current injected by applying a constant voltage
across the driving electrodes must be calculated.
The amount of current injected can be calculated
from the knowledge of the potential distribution
inside the sample and through the following
inversion of equations (6) and (7).

J, = (19)


J, = p(, +i;,,? o)[-tan OK + El (20)

The total current injected into the sample can

then be determined by integrating the J, component
along a typical line UW as shown in Fig. 7(a).

p( I + tan? 0)

I tan 0 ,W ---

~(1 + tan: 0) I
E, dy +
p(I +tanO)
Fig. 8. Percentage error (EL or I?,,) between rhe existing
Hall voltage and the corresponding ideal van der Pauw V,,
(21) at each pair of grid points along the square wmple edge
for tan 0 = 0~05.0~1, 0.5 and I .O.Dotted line. current lo\\
contribution due to shunting effect of the Hall electrode\.
For any line across the sample the current was Dashed line, total contribution due to the presence of
calculated to be constant to within 0.1 per cent. The finite size electrodes.
integral on the extreme right hand side of equation
is the potential difference between U and W. The In addition, this is shown to be the sum of two
term VImII= ( Vrm- Vu,) is. in fact, the Hall voltage components as described by equation (1 I). The
one would measure with two infiitesimal probes dotted lines indicate the current loss terms (I,) [,)I
between the points U and W. Equation (21) can be I,, and the dashed lines indicate the bulk errorb due to
rearranged as current re-distribution caused by the presence of
Contact size effects on the van der Pauw method 1225

electrodes of finite size. Note that E;I approaches van der Pauw condition to the corresponding
unity when the line U - W approaches the current voltage measured with finite contacts. Such results
contact because the current contact shorts out the are plotted in Fig. 10(a) as a function of contact size
Hall field. Figure 9 shows a similar plot when tan for different values of tan 0. The range of tan 0 was
0 = 0.2 for three different contact sizes extending 2, chosen from 0.1 to 0.5 because in normal semicon-
4, and 6 grid sections. Clearly, both the current loss ductor materials evaluation, magnetic fields within
and the re-distribution terms decrease when the this range will usually yield reasonable Hall
electrode size is smaller. From this plot one can voltages. The ratios S/l [cf. Fig. 10(a)] actually
also observe within the Hall electrode region, how used for the calculations were l/16, l/8 and 3/16. In
the error distribution due to the current flowing Fig. 10(b), the correction factors are plotted vs tan 0
around the contact edge becomes more significant
as the electrode size increases. From the exact
solutions at different finite Hall angles, we have
also plotted in Fig. 5 the current loss in the Hall
electrodes and compare it with the case of zero Hall
angle in our preliminary estimation. The results
indicate that the zero field estimation is an upper
Our aim has been to find the Hall voltage
correction factor defined as the ratio at constant
current of the Hall voltage expected from an ideal

TAN8 = 0.2
v,,: q-v,

To oo-
2 0.' ( 5
(a) lb)

0 Fig. 10. (a) Hall voltage correction factor vs contact size

for selected values of tan 0 in van der Pauw-Hall
measurements on a square sample with four identical
finite triangular contacts. (b) Hall voltage correction
\ f 0.1250 factors vs tan 0 for fixed contact size (S/l = 1116, l/8 and
I I IL,, I I, ii I,, LL
5 IO 15 20 25 30
.W - for contact sizes with these three s/l ratios. In
Fig. 9. Percentage error (EL or EH) between the existing actual measurement for a given contact size one
Hall voltage and the corresponding idea1 van der Pauw V, also needs to know the value of tan 0 to find the
at each pair of grid points along the square sample edge at corresponding precise correction factors. Since
tan 0 = 0.2 for three different sizes of contacts. Dotted
line, current loss contribution due to shunting effect of the
Hall electrode. Dashed line, total contribution due to the
presence of finite size electrodes.

one can first approximate the value of tan 0 by using contacts located at the corners of a square sample
the measured apparent Hall voltage in the above remain a reasonable approximation to infinitesimal
expression. From the correcrion factor correspond- contacts up to a reasonable size depending on the
ing to the approximate tan 0, we can correct the desired accuracy. For example, with 6 as large as
measured apparent Hall voltage and obtain a better l/8 of the sample edge, the correction factors are
estimation of the tan 0 value. This iterative I.0025 for the resistivity measurement and in the
procedure can be continued until a self-consistent neighborhood of I.1 for the Hall measurement.
solution is obtained. Since the correction factor is a Since the Hall mobility is defined as RH/p, the
rather slow function of the Hall tangent as shown in overall correction factor for the Hall mobility i\
Fig. IO(b). the rate of convergence is very fast. less than IO per cent in this case. The correction
Thus a precise value of tan 0 and the true factors for the sheet resistivity measurement
correction factor can be found with one or two presented here were obtained with zero magnetic
iterations. field.
It would be of interest to determine the effect of a
7. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS magnetic field on the corrections for finite Gze
Contact size effects in van der Pauw resistivity electrodes in a van der Pauw resistivity measure-
and Hali coefficient measurements have been ment. The exact calculation for this case is more
studied for the case of a square sample. For complex than that for the Hall voltage due to the
resistivity measurements at zero magnetic field the lower degree of symmetry in the configuration for
correction factors for several sizes of square and the resistivity measurement. However. since the
triangular contacts obtained by an electrolytic tank contact shorting effects are far less serious in the
experiment agrees closely with exact calculations resistivity measurement than the Hall meaaure-
based on a resistive network analogue. For Hall ment. we expect that the sensitivity of the
measurements, the error due to finite size contacts resistivity correction factors for finite electrodes
can be interpreted as the sum of two effects, one with respect to the magnetic field will be much les\
due to the shorting effect of the current electrodes than the order of change of magneto-resistance v\
on the Hall field and the other due to current magnetic field. Therefore to a good approximation,
shunting by the Hall electrodes which cause a one should be able to use the zero field correction
current loss around the edge of the contacts. Simple factor in van der Pauw sheet resistivity measure-
electrolytic tank experimental measurements of the ment in the presence of a magnetic field. From a
second effect at zero Hall angle provide an upper materials evaluation point of view, the relaxation of
bound estimation of the magnitude of such error for the van der Pauw requirements without construct-
different electrode shapes. This should be particu- ing a sample of an exotic shape greatly simplifies
larly useful when one is interested in analyzing sample preparation. In addition, a large size contact
contact effects in more complicated sample offers the advantage of less heat dissipation in the
geometries. The total final correction factor is sample for a given Hall voltage. This is important in
about twice the value of the zero Hall angle current a variety of applications, especially in cryogenic
correction when the current and voltage contacts experiments. One can also see that if the contacts
are identical. Exact correction factors for several inject minority carriers, if the diffusion length is
sizes of triangular contacts were computed by smaller than 6 or is known, the range of effects due
over-relaxation calculation through appropriate to fi can be estimated and the results given here will
finite difference equations. These were done in a still be applicable.
range of tan 0 = 0.1-0.5 to cover the normal range Our results for the correction factor are depen-
for application to semiconductor materials evalua- dent on tan 0. This implies a non-linearity in the
tion. Hall voltage vs magnetic field relationship. Similar
A step by step reduction of the grid size and the results have been reported by Wick[2]. This
implementation of an adjustable over-relaxation nonlinear characteristic of a Hall generator has
factor to reduce oscillation are the main features been investigated extensively by Haeusler and
we have used to improve both the accuracy and the Lippmann 181. They found that a double symmetric
speed of our computation. Convergence to the cross system exhibited far better linearity than a
accuracy described in this paper were normally typical version of the classical rectangular
reached within 2 min of CPU time on an IBM geometry. The physical interpretation of the
360/44 computer for a total of 969 final grid points. contact effects on a Hall sample presented in this
Our results indicate that triangular shaped paper shines some light on the superior linearity of
Contact size effects on the van der Pauw method 1227

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